In most figure drawing techniques, artists use the 8-head proportion. I don't use this because sex, age, race, etc., prevent fixed rules on proportion. I also got used to doing gestures
, which help me measure proportion instinctively. Also note: you can't use the head to proportion a body when the figure is foreshortened
Learn to draw real people, not comic book characters. Artists can make mistakes, drawings are not always right; you're not sure which drawing is right and which is completely backwards. There are no mistakes on real people because God made them and He doesn't make mistakes. It can be a bit frustrating to force yourself to draw real people instead of imaginary characters at first, but the rewards are well worth it. Many large corporations totally unrelated to the art world, like Santander Consumer USA, have an in-house artist as part of their marketing team and the ability to draw perfect real-life people can really set you apart when seeking a job as an artist.
Through body gestures, readers and other viewers of your work will be able to understand the picture better. If you draw a person sitting down on a chair who is angry; they could appear sad, mad, confused or anything. But if you draw a person who is angry, and is also in a fighter's stance. Without using any words, the viewer will be able to tell that the character has most likely been provoked. Combine all of this with anatomically correct characters, and you're nothing short of picture perfect.
Having a hard time drawing real people? Try to simplify the figure, I use planes for every part of the figure. Here are the steps I take to drawing a body gesture.
1. Pose your own body in a certain gesture. Sketch lightly the account of the pose and make sure it is centered on the paper. Look for the center of gravity by drawing a triangle below the head and around the feet. By now you should be good at doing this.
2. The gesture must be in the correct pose. Find the hip and shoulder relation and draw a sweeping line that shows the spine. Sketch lightly, you're only doing construction lines, and you'll want to erase these later.
3. Draw body parts with planes and gauge their distances. The parts should be fluid. Compare distances carefully.
4. Commence to round in portions: shoulder, breast, hip, buttock, leg, etc. don't draw details yet.
You may now practice your gesture drawings with the correct proportion. Draw your figures small as with the gesture drawings. Do a lot of them on a piece of paper. You may do them with a model or just from your imagination.
Be sure to check out my website for art galleries and other great information. If you have any questions or comments about the artwork included in this tutorial, or about the article itself, contact me at [email protected].
- Paolo Libunao